Chivalry And Warfare In Late Medieval Europe, C.1300 To C1500 HIST5003

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course explores the nature of chivalry in aristocratic culture and in particular in relation to the conduct of warfare in theory and in practice. The course examines key aspects of the debate surrounding the idea that, by the fifteenth century, concepts of chivalry had become ossified and anachronistic. It explores the role played by the 'law of arms' in later medieval chivalry, and examines the operation of conventions of ransom and the profits of war which were a key incentive in the prosecution of war. The ambiguous relationship between notions of chivalry and the impact of war on the population at large is also be examined.


10 x 2 hours seminars

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level.

Excluded Courses





Seminar paper (2,000 words) - 30%

Essay (4,000 words) - 70%

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ introduce students to complex debates concerning the nature of late medieval chivalric culture and its relation to warfare.

■ develop the ability to analysis and critically assess a range of relevant primary sources.

■ develop an advanced understanding of the relation of argument and evidence in historical reasoning.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

■ evidence an enhanced understanding of the nature of later medieval chivalry and its relationship to the theory and practice of warfare;

■ identify and evaluate the differing constituents of late medieval chivalric and aristocratic culture in relation to war and society;

■ show a high degree of proficiency in the use of sources from different disciplines in seminar discussions and written work;

■ research and present work, both orally and in written form, at postgraduate level;

■ prepare for further graduate study of an advanced kind.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.